Keep It In or Send It Out?
RECENTLY, I had the pleasure of meeting an exceptionally kind and open in-plant manager who works for a pharmaceutical company. I was told the shop was recently placed "in scope" by management and was looking for help on how to deal with the situation.
I admit I didn't know what "in scope" meant at first. When I asked I was told a department is placed in scope—or under review by the parent organization—to determine, in essence, whether to keep the work in or send it out. People's jobs are at stake here, along with the profitability of the organization, the needs of the customers (across multiple countries) and the needs of the organization's customer. That's a lot of needs.
I asked, "What's your plan to get out of scope?" The answer was honest: they were looking for help to create the plan because they weren't sure where to start.
I asked if they had a justification plan? Some in-plants call them a business or marketing plan or an in-plant strategy. I really don't care what you call it. I want to know that the benefits of the in-plant are documented as part of a constantly updated and analyzed justification of why the department exists, the benefits of having it and where it's going. He answered that some of that information existed but it wasn't gathered in one place. This is often the situation I encounter at in-plants.
Creating a Justification Plan
There's two parts to a justification plan. The financial bits that cover costs, chargebacks, potential profits, etc. and the marketing bits that discuss who you are, what you do, who you do it for, why you do it and how you get the business.
Some of you are incredibly diligent about having this information available and often share with management the benefits you and your team provide to the organization. But some aren't able to truly make that argument to keep work in vs. sending it out. I've met some folks who are flat out not interested in being able to make the case.